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erieite
02-15-2013, 12:41
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.

RCBear
02-15-2013, 12:52
this is a very hot and controversial topic on WB that has been debated many times. if you will do a quick search you should find a number of fairly recent discussions pop up. not too many fence sitters on this one. overall the consensous would appear to favor not carrying, due to the relative safety and all the logistics that come into play with the decision to carry on the trail.

tds1195
02-15-2013, 12:53
They happen, but not frequently. You're more likely to get mugged walking around the street...

I'm a section hiker. There are a ton of thru-hikers here, though. I've never had any problems.

You won't need a gun - you'll see animals but they're not a problem. Just make sure to read up on how to handle encounters with bears, snakes, etc. It's not nearly as dangerous as your son seems to think it is.

Welcome to WB!

RED-DOG
02-15-2013, 12:54
I have Thru-Hiked three times and yes i was robbed in 2006, going through central VA just about a mile south of the Troutdale/ daleville Interchange, but the robber only got 20 dollars in cash and a little bit of change. and no i do not advise anybody to carry guns on any trail especially the AT, Robberies and other crimes really don't happen that frequent,For as Animals are concerned you only need to watch out for the shelter mice they can be visious and i meen down right Mean. The other Animals Bears, Deer, Raccoons, ETC they will pretty much stay out of your way.

max patch
02-15-2013, 12:55
I believe in our 2nd amendment rights but you don't need a gun on the AT.

Chuckie V
02-15-2013, 13:03
Drive an armored vehicle up the trail; it's much safer. Hire bodyguards. Wear a bullet proof vest and a helmet. Carry mace. And a machete, along with another more easily-accessible knife. Combat boots allow for a nice kick to a perpetrator's groin. Consider a shield.

The point is, life is a risk, and we're all risk-takers the second we're born. Some of us don't want the risk and so they do whatever they can to avoid it. Hiking the AT is a risk, but I doubt it's any riskier than getting to the trail or going shopping or heading to work or school. The isolation scares some of us---what do we do if confronted?---but isolation is a damn good step toward avoiding risk, though we still have to deal with ourselves and our own decisions, which can present risk (more, in the case of some of us).

Take precautions, or hike with others, but don't skip out on the dreams that call; that would be far riskier than anything else you might face!

A gun won't defend you against a gun, if you're not at the ready. I know I'd hate to hike like that, always at the ready! Hiking should be about relaxing the mind, no?

Those risks I worry about: ticks (Lyme), my own stupidity (infinite), hypothermia. I do what I can to mitigate their potential, though the stupidity is a toughie!

rickb
02-15-2013, 13:17
I believe in our 2nd amendment rights but you don't need a gun on the AT.

No, you don't need a gun on the AT.

The 5 thruhikers (yes, I said thru hikers) and 1 long distance section hiker who have been murdered on the AT needed a gun, but you don't.

I am not trying to be sarcastic. I mean this.

Feral Bill
02-15-2013, 13:30
There are several states where you will not be able to carry legally, and which have harsh penalties for carrying if you do so illegally.

Camel2012
02-15-2013, 13:33
The 5 thruhikers (yes, I said thru hikers) and 1 long distance section hiker who have been murdered on the AT needed a gun, but you don't.

I often wonder how many people look at murders on the trail as scary. Go find one of those nice rural towns with a few thousand people, and look at the murders that happened there in the same time.

I carry a gun daily at home, but would never carry one on the AT.

Like was already said, this comes up all the time, and anything you would want to know is in those threads. The gun issue gets a bit heated at times.

Good luck, hope everything works out for your future thru. Using the search on the forums will bring up more info than you would ever need. Get a good base knowledge, and then ask specific questions. That seems to work best here. There are some very experienced and knowledgeable hikers here(not me), but they seem to get frustrated with the same basic questions that have been answered a thousand times.

Slo-go'en
02-15-2013, 13:37
The greatest danger anyone faces on the trail are themselfs. Poor decisions can lead to injury or death. Often that is a result of pushing one's self too hard, too far, too quick. Keeping one's self safe is simply a matter of using good judgement in dealing with the current weather, terrain, animals and people you encounter at the time.

Can something bad happen to you dispite being careful? Of course, but the chances are pretty slim.

Slo-go'en
02-15-2013, 13:45
The 5 thruhikers (yes, I said thru hikers) and 1 long distance section hiker who have been murdered on the AT needed a gun, but you don't.
I am not trying to be sarcastic. I mean this.

Maybe if they knew they were about to be murdered, already had the gun in thier hand and were a good shot, maybe it would have helped. Not knowing the situation or how it went down, it's impossable to say if having a gun would have helped these people or not.

SassyWindsor
02-15-2013, 14:37
and the anti-gunners appear, what they don't tell you is they believe there is no place a gun is needed, not just the AT. There are a lot more hikers carrying than one would think, bet

takethisbread
02-15-2013, 14:39
Amen . The murders and fatal animal attacks on the AT is dwarfed by the lightning strikes, the hypothermia, the illnesses, the frostbite, heat exhaustion , the hunger ect stuff the gun can't fix.
The greatest danger anyone faces on the trail are themselfs. Poor decisions can lead to injury or death. Often that is a result of pushing one's self too hard, too far, too quick. Keeping one's self safe is simply a matter of using good judgement in dealing with the current weather, terrain, animals and people you encounter at the time.

Can something bad happen to you dispite being careful? Of course, but the chances are pretty slim.

88BlueGT
02-15-2013, 14:41
I certainly would not worry about people on the AT being dangerous.


Just my .02.

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 14:46
and the anti-gunners appear, what they don't tell you is they believe there is no place a gun is needed, not just the AT. There are a lot more hikers carrying than one would think, bet

it has nothing to do with pro or anti. it's just not necessary.

polechar
02-15-2013, 14:54
Wow, almost every post in this thread mentions a gun, he said he was not bringing one and that's not even his question.

JAK
02-15-2013, 15:00
+1
Question was simply have you ever been threated or mugged by people, or had any problems with animals.

I would add, if you have experienced or witnessed any of the above, what do you feel were effective or ineffective deterents?
Is it worth carrying a stick for loose dogs, for example?

hikernutcasey
02-15-2013, 15:09
I am a concealed carry permit holder that carries a firearm everywhere I go except one place, the Appalachian Trail. My family who knows that I carry on a regular basis always ask me, "you carry your gun with you when you go right?" When I tell them no they are shocked. Like many have said you probably have a much better chance of staying safe on the trail than off it.

I have section hiked almost 1/3 of the trail and have never once felt threatened, even in the least, by another human or animal. I second the individuals statement that the person you need to be concerned about is yourself. Making bad decisions in the wilderness can get you killed.

erieite
02-15-2013, 15:12
Thanks to everyone for the input. Like I said I am not going to hike with a gun I just am trying to ease some of the worry that my son has for his "old man"

GoldenBear
02-15-2013, 15:33
> My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT.
> Have you ever been threatened or mugged on the AT?

I've only done 500 miles on the AT, but in those miles, I have never, EVER, even come close to feeling threatened by any animal, including humans.
I don't carry a gun when I walk in downtown Philadelphia at night, and I know for an absolute fact that it's more dangerous there than on the Trail.

Camel2012
02-15-2013, 15:53
I ran up on a grouse one time that went into attack posture. It had chicks and just distracted me while they crossed the trail about 10 foot in front of me. It went back and forth between mock charges, and doing the ol' broken wing gag. I have only hiked about 1k miles on the AT, but that was the only aggressive animal i have ran across, and i knew exactly what it was doing.

How does grouse taste? No idea if you can hunt them. We don't have them in Oklahoma.

The bears i saw, ran away so fast that i could barely got a glimpse of bear butt.

As far as unsavory individuals, there are a few, but during thru season, it would be hard for someone to mug you and get away with it. Way to many people. It's far from lawless untamed wilderness.

bfayer
02-15-2013, 15:56
..There are a lot more hikers carrying than one would think, bet
That is a very true statement, and the vast majority are doing it legally and safely.

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 16:09
biggest danger on the trail is lyme disease.

Tinker
02-15-2013, 16:09
There is a far greater chance of injury or death on the road trip to or from the trail than there is on the trail.

I've been around a few strange characters but never felt threatened. I've heard large animals around my campsite from time to time but have never seen a bear while on the AT. I saw one on a side trail, however, on the NJ/NY state line, and he was in someone's back yard trying to get into an old upright freezer. He never so much as glanced our way. We were about 40-60 yards away.

rickb
02-15-2013, 16:09
Amen . The murders and fatal animal attacks on the AT is dwarfed by the lightning strikes, the hypothermia, the illnesses, the frostbite, heat exhaustion , the hunger ect stuff the gun can't fix.


As far as Thru hikers are concerned, your observation would not be true.

5 thru hikers have been murdered at the hand of a stranger. None has died of hypothermia, a lightening strike, heat stroke, animal attack or any other of the aforementioned stuff.

No thru hiker traveling in the modern nobo bubble has been murdered either, but mentioning that is sometimes met with scorn as it seems to suggest thru hiking risks vary for different people hiking the trail in different ways.

That said, better for the OP to be more concerned with his diet, as that has killed a great many more of us over 50 years of age. The smart ones start thinking about that when they are his son's age, of course.

Sarcasm the elf
02-15-2013, 16:44
None has died of hypothermia, a lightening strike, heat stroke, animal attack or any other of the aforementioned stuff.

If I'm not mistaken, by far the most common cause of death on the trail is heart attacks. I would suspect that hypothermia and heat stroke could be contributing factors in some of these cases.

rocketsocks
02-15-2013, 16:50
If I'm not mistaken, the by far the most common cause of death on the trail is heart attacks. I would suspect that hypothermia and heat stroke could be contributing factors in some of these cases.falling down too, gotta be careful comin out of the Doyle.

MuddyWaters
02-15-2013, 17:02
The AT is not dangerous.
Criminals looking for crimes of opportunity arent apt to hike miles from the nearest road to search for it, when they could find it at WalMart.
Hikers also dont carry anything anyone in the general population would want.
When there are issues, frequently they are close to road crossings, or in towns. Some locals dont like hikers.
If there is a creepy hiker, word gets up and down the trail faster than that hiker, for sure.
Hikers look out for each other.

Dont camp within 3/4 mile of road crossings, is a good rule. If you do be well concealed off the trail.
If someone makes you uncomfortable, keep on moving along is another
Trust your gut instincts, is a third.

Teacher & Snacktime
02-15-2013, 17:19
I totally understand your circumstance, and have had the conversation with family members myself. Our solution is this: we're starting off by section hiking in areas where we believe we'll feel less threatened by animals or people. We are always accompanied on our excursions as they are not too long in duration, and we have the safety-in-numbers factor. This way we will have a definite feel for the trail and be able to make a real assessment of the dangers/threats involved.

You and I are of similar age, and likely similar concerns about our personal safety and ability to handle a wildlife threat...ie bear or snake. I desperately want to tackle a thru-hike, but I know I need to feel more secure before I do.

Get your son on the trail with you...even for a weekend. Tackle a few areas and eliminate the scariness of the unfamiliar. Join us next April at Springer.

Teacher & Snacktime
02-15-2013, 17:39
Of course you wouldn't be afraid 88BlueGT! You've been to Trenton! (just kidding...grew up in South Jersey & love it....have friends in Hamilton Twp. Please go have a Stewarts for me when they open).

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 18:04
As far as Thru hikers are concerned, your observation would not be true.

5 thru hikers have been murdered at the hand of a stranger. None has died of hypothermia, a lightening strike, heat stroke, animal attack or any other of the aforementioned stuff.

No thru hiker traveling in the modern nobo bubble has been murdered either, but mentioning that is sometimes met with scorn as it seems to suggest thru hiking risks vary for different people hiking the trail in different ways.

That said, better for the OP to be more concerned with his diet, as that has killed a great many more of us over 50 years of age. The smart ones start thinking about that when they are his son's age, of course.

5 murders vs how many safe thrus over 80+years?
odds of getting bitten by a shark while being hit by lightning are much higher.
do you think we can keep this in proper perspective?

in 3 separate instances last year, 3 people were killed at home watching tv when out of control cars came through their living room windows.
buy a lottery ticket.

SawnieRobertson
02-15-2013, 18:05
Eventually, I just looked my daughter, who was asking why I would choose to go out there with all those dangerous animals and people, in the eye. Quite sternley I challenged her "EDUCATE YOURSELF, read books, talk with people who spend a lot of time on the trail, go to TrailJournals and White Blaze. Don't come to me with these baseless fears."

That was several years ago. Her attitude and messages have done a 180. Thank goodness because every time I would hear how dangerous it is and how I should be armed and how I should take a dog, although I would refute her claim, a little grain of fear would also be planted in my mind. And that would make me vulnerable in the event of a real attack.

Sarcasm the elf
02-15-2013, 18:11
in 3 separate instances last year, 3 people were killed at home watching tv when out of control cars came through their living room windows.
buy a lottery ticket.

See, this is one of the reasons I don't own a TV!:D

Camel2012
02-15-2013, 18:12
As far as Thru hikers are concerned, your observation would not be true.

5 thru hikers have been murdered at the hand of a stranger. None has died of hypothermia, a lightening strike, heat stroke, animal attack or any other of the aforementioned stuff.

No thru hiker traveling in the modern nobo bubble has been murdered either, but mentioning that is sometimes met with scorn as it seems to suggest thru hiking risks vary for different people hiking the trail in different ways.

That said, better for the OP to be more concerned with his diet, as that has killed a great many more of us over 50 years of age. The smart ones start thinking about that when they are his son's age, of course.

5 murders vs how many safe thrus over 80+years?
odds of getting bitten by a shark while being hit by lightning are much higher.
do you think we can keep this in proper perspective?

in 3 separate instances last year, 3 people were killed at home watching tv when out of control cars came through their living room windows.
buy a lottery ticket.

Completely agree, but find it hard to believe no thru-hiker has ever died from exposure, but i don't have the facts so it may be true. Regardless, i think it's safe to say the AT is safer than the normal life of most.

Teacher & Snacktime
02-15-2013, 18:45
From what I've read GoldenBear, those Massachusetts goats can be pretty threatening! (loved your posts, and have stood on the top of Cobble Hill in Tyringham...yes, a must-return location)

CarlZ993
02-15-2013, 19:07
I think you made the correct choice to not carry a pistol. First, it adds to your packweight. If you carried one, it would undoubtedly be concealed. In the unlikely chance of meeting someone with malice intent, the bad guy will probably have his weapon hidden but readily available. Depending on where you concealed yours, it could take quite some time to 'retrieve it' from its hiding place. When someone has the 'drop' on you, you're screwed. Most likely, the bad guy simply wants money. A simple transaction occurs. He's gone... and you clean your underwear.

'Most' robberies occur with the victim not injured. Unfortunately, there are those individuals who are truly evil. With 25 yrs of Law Enforcement, I had one incident where the victim (stop & rob attendant... I mean 'Convenience Store Attendant') was shot by the suspect simply because the bad guy wanted to see what it felt like to shoot someone (confession later obtained from him). Miraculously, the victim survived the GSW to the face.

Note: I've never carried a handgun while backpacking. I've almost never carried a handgun while day-hiking or running. I almost always carry a handgun the rest of the time.

Capt Nat
02-15-2013, 19:25
I think there is a real danger of getting mudded...

rickb
02-15-2013, 19:40
5 murders vs how many safe thrus over 80+years?
odds of getting bitten by a shark while being hit by lightning are much higher.
do you think we can keep this in proper perspective?

in 3 separate instances last year, 3 people were killed at home watching tv when out of control cars came through their living room windows.
buy a lottery ticket.


While you probably meant the question to be rhetorical, I think it is agood one.

5 thru hikers have been murdered on the AT -- all of them many hundreds of miles into their hikes.



About 11,000 people have reported a thru hike to the ATC.


For every 2200 thru hikers who have reported hiking the length of the AT, one person making the attempt did not get the chance to because they were killed by a complete stranger along the way.


As for the lottery ticket example, what do you think your odds of winning a 1 in a million game if you buy 1000 tickets? That concept matters.

WalksInDark
02-15-2013, 20:02
Summer before last I decided to get some AT sections under my belt. Given that I was solo hiking and not supported (nobody was taking me to or from the trail heads) my game plan was pretty simple: take a look at the map' estimate how far I could get in 5-7 days; drive my minivan to the trail head to start; and start hiking. When I ran out of energy ---most frequently---or food (infrequently) I would get off of the trail, put out my thumb and hitchhike back to my car for resupply or R&R.

In over 30 days of section hiking I met two weirdos on the trail---one guy appeared to be an escapee/recent discharge from a mental health inpatient facility; one a woman roaming the trail talking to an imaginary friend. I ran into two guys who were wearing large (+9") Bowie knives who asked way to0 many questions about where I was heading and where was my hiking partner. Out of an abundance of caution, I choose to stealth camp one night to stay away from the knife toters.

Dangerous Animals: One night a young porcupine decided to join me in the shelter. Due to the noise of the porcupine chewing up the bunk below me, I ended up hammocking that night. My last day on the trail, I almost accidentally sat upon a large group of incredibly well camouflaged poisonous snakes. While still contemplating what it would have felt like to have multiple snakes take a bite out of my a@@, I then tripped...fell face down without even having had time to move my hands from my trekking poles...and knocked myself unconscious and tore a big hunk out of my nose and forehead. (PICTURES AVAILABLE) Injured yes...BUT I DID IT ALL TO MYSELF!
:eek:

Would a gun have helped me deal with any of my encounters...I don't think so.

But then again, being more carefully probably would have kept me from almost sitting on a bunch of snakes and taking a painful face plant.
:datz

BTW, My section hikes took place during temps that routinely hovered between 95 and over 100 degrees and many of the folks who gave me a free ride took me miles out of their way so that I could get out of the heat. The kindness of strangers is the kind of AT experience I will ALWAYS remember.

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 20:18
the reasoning is correct but the model is not. none of the thruhikers was murdered your numbers are based on the # of completions, not the number of people who hike the trail annually. if one out of 20 that starts out to thru hike actually finishes, yu need to multiply your factor by 20.
in any event statistics are historical and meaningless in predicting random events( i used to give my statistics and prob professor migraines).
i dont play the lottery either, and it doesnt matter whether you buy 1 ticket or 1000.you either win or you dont
random.people go broke trying to hit the big one



About 11,000 people have reported a thru hike to the ATC.


For every 2200 thru hikers who have reported hiking the length of the AT, one person making the attempt did not get the chance to because they were killed by a complete stranger along the way.


As for the lottery ticket example, what do you think your odds of winning a 1 in a million game if you buy 1000 tickets? That concept matters.[/QUOTE]

SassyWindsor
02-15-2013, 20:24
A lot of AT murder rate quotes concerning carrying a gun. I'm more afraid of being raped, robbed, dog attacked or beaten than murdered. So, murdered is just one of several reasons to tote. How many hikers have been attacked or robbed (but left to live) while on or near the trail?

WILLIAM HAYES
02-15-2013, 20:26
you dont need a gun

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 20:37
A lot of AT murder rate quotes concerning carrying a gun. I'm more afraid of being raped, robbed, dog attacked or beaten than murdered. So, murdered is just one of several reasons to tote. How many hikers have been attacked or robbed (but left to live) while on or near the trail?
how many havent?

WingedMonkey
02-15-2013, 21:01
While you probably meant the question to be rhetorical, I think it is agood one.

5 thru hikers have been murdered on the AT -- all of them many hundreds of miles into their hikes.



About 11,000 people have reported a thru hike to the ATC.


For every 2200 thru hikers who have reported hiking the length of the AT, one person making the attempt did not get the chance to because they were killed by a complete stranger along the way.


As for the lottery ticket example, what do you think your odds of winning a 1 in a million game if you buy 1000 tickets? That concept matters.

Always enjoy the stats you keep on these deaths, but I too have a problem with basing them on successful 2,000 milers.

You really would need to find a way to count all the attempted 2,000 milers to get a base.

Alligator
02-15-2013, 21:12
The OP has twice indicated he is not carrying so don't make this into a gun thread. For those of you who turn these threads into gun threads regularly, there are going to be consequences if it keeps happening. It's past old at this point.

MuddyWaters
02-15-2013, 21:33
Successful thru hikers make up a tiny portion of trail users.
Attempting thru hikers make up a still tiny portion of trail users.

Over 2 million people per year use the trail in some way.
Maybe the stats say its safer to section hike or day hike.
Not sure that could be a valid conclusion though.

Pingus
02-15-2013, 21:50
It is most common for friends and family to warn of the dangers of hiking the AT. They've likely never been on it. Statistically, hiking the AT is by far the safest long term activity you can engage in. Enjoy your hike.

rickb
02-15-2013, 22:09
Always enjoy the stats you keep on these deaths, but I too have a problem with basing them on successful 2,000 milers.

You really would need to find a way to count all the attempted 2,000 milers to get a base.

You have a point.

i think common wisdom is that about 20% of those attempting a thru hike complete their journeys and register with the ATC as milers.

If you buy that, then about 1 in 11,000 of all those who attempt a thru hike are murdered by a complete stranger within 6 months of the time they set off on their hikes.

Not sure where you live, but if 1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months, I would not be proud of that. Over the course of 20 years that would be 40 victims out of 11,000 or one in 275 people. Yikes!

hikerboy57
02-15-2013, 22:36
You have a point.

i think common wisdom is that about 20% of those attempting a thru hike complete their journeys and register with the ATC as milers.

If you buy that, then about 1 in 11,000 of all those who attempt a thru hike are murdered by a complete stranger within 6 months of the time they set off on their hikes.

Not sure where you live, but if 1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months, I would not be proud of that. Over the course of 20 years that would be 40 victims out of 11,000 or one in 275 people. Yikes!
its closer to 1 in 10 that finishes, and countless others use the at daily without incident. 5 random acts that happened to occur on the at. ill take those odds better than crossing the street in manhatten

Mountainsmike
02-15-2013, 23:09
Real threats on AT:
Lyme's Disease
Blisters
Twisted ankles or sprains
Fall/tripping injuries
Heart attack
Shelter mice getting your food
Weather related Hypothermia,heat exhaustion, etc

Some you can take precautions for, some are just dumb luck. Some are setbacks, others can be the end of your hike. If you start reasonably fit & don't push to hard at the start boredom will is one of the more common reasons people get off the trail along with running out of money.

rockyiss
02-15-2013, 23:14
I had lyme disease, was midiagnosed for nine years , you do not want to get it !! It can be a life wrecker.

Carl Calson
02-15-2013, 23:35
i'd worry about lightning on an exposed ridge more than a murderer on the AT

rocketsocks
02-15-2013, 23:43
I had lyme disease, was midiagnosed for nine years , you do not want to get it !! It can be a life wrecker.What was the treatment and or prognosis long term?

Mountain Mike
02-16-2013, 00:15
What was the treatment and or prognosis long term?

Long term antibiotic iv treatment. I lived for years on Nantucket Island where it was prevalent & many never saw or recognized early signs of it. A local doctor noticed a trend & called it chronic Lyme's disease.

Per Wikpedia Late disseminated infectionAfter several months, untreated or inadequately treated patients may go on to develop severe and chronic symptoms that affect many parts of the body, including the brain, nerves, eyes, joints and heart. Many disabling symptoms can occur, including permanent paraplegia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraplegia) in the most extreme cases.[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-20)The associated nerve pain radiating out from the spine is termed Bannwarth syndrome.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid19562015-21)
The late disseminated stage is where the infection has fully spread throughout the body. Chronic neurologic symptoms occur in up to 5% of untreated patients.[14] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid14987414-14) A polyneuropathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyneuropathy) that involves shooting pains, numbness, and tingling in the hands or feet may develop. A neurologic syndrome called Lyme encephalopathy is associated with subtle cognitive problems, such as difficulties with concentration and short-term memory. These patients may also experience profound fatigue.[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-Shadick-22) However, other problems, such as depression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_(mood)) and fibromyalgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia), are no more common in people who have been infected with Lyme than in the general population.[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-Shadick-22)[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-23)
Chronic encephalomyelitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encephalomyelitis), which maybe progressive, can involve cognitive impairment, weakness in the legs, awkward gait, facial palsy, bladder problems, vertigo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_(medical)), and back pain. In rare cases untreated Lyme disease may cause frank psychosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_psychosis), which has been mis-diagnosed as schizophrenia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia)or bipolar disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder). Panic attacks and anxiety can occur; there may also be delusional behavior, including somatoform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatoform) delusions, sometimes accompanied by a depersonalization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization) or derealization syndrome, where the patients begin to feel detached from themselves or from reality.[24] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-24)[25] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-25)
Lyme arthritis usually affects the knees.[26] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid18452802-26) In a minority of patients, arthritis can occur in other joints, including the ankles, elbows, wrist, hips, and shoulders. Pain is often mild or moderate, usually with swelling at the involved joint. Baker's cysts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_cyst) may form and rupture. In some cases, joint erosion occurs.

rocketsocks
02-16-2013, 00:22
Long term antibiotic iv treatment. I lived for years on Nantucket Island where it was prevalent & many never saw or recognized early signs of it. A local doctor noticed a trend & called it chronic Lyme's disease.

Per Wikpedia Late disseminated infection

After several months, untreated or inadequately treated patients may go on to develop severe and chronic symptoms that affect many parts of the body, including the brain, nerves, eyes, joints and heart. Many disabling symptoms can occur, including permanent paraplegia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraplegia) in the most extreme cases.[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-20)The associated nerve pain radiating out from the spine is termed Bannwarth syndrome.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid19562015-21)
The late disseminated stage is where the infection has fully spread throughout the body. Chronic neurologic symptoms occur in up to 5% of untreated patients.[14] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid14987414-14) A polyneuropathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyneuropathy) that involves shooting pains, numbness, and tingling in the hands or feet may develop. A neurologic syndrome called Lyme encephalopathy is associated with subtle cognitive problems, such as difficulties with concentration and short-term memory. These patients may also experience profound fatigue.[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-Shadick-22) However, other problems, such as depression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_(mood)) and fibromyalgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia), are no more common in people who have been infected with Lyme than in the general population.[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-Shadick-22)[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-23)
Chronic encephalomyelitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encephalomyelitis), which maybe progressive, can involve cognitive impairment, weakness in the legs, awkward gait, facial palsy, bladder problems, vertigo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_(medical)), and back pain. In rare cases untreated Lyme disease may cause frank psychosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_psychosis), which has been mis-diagnosed as schizophrenia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia)or bipolar disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder). Panic attacks and anxiety can occur; there may also be delusional behavior, including somatoform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatoform) delusions, sometimes accompanied by a depersonalization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization) or derealization syndrome, where the patients begin to feel detached from themselves or from reality.[24] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-24)[25] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-25)
Lyme arthritis usually affects the knees.[26] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#cite_note-pmid18452802-26) In a minority of patients, arthritis can occur in other joints, including the ankles, elbows, wrist, hips, and shoulders. Pain is often mild or moderate, usually with swelling at the involved joint. Baker's cysts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_cyst) may form and rupture. In some cases, joint erosion occurs.Lovely stuff....thanks Mike, looks pretty darn bleak doesn't it.

Mountain Mike
02-16-2013, 00:26
I had a few friend that had it. Wasn't a nice thing. One was an avid runner, knocked the crap out of him for a few years.

Trippinbilly33
02-16-2013, 07:48
Stories like these go in the NYC is a Hell hole full of muggers and people with terrible manners who won't help you if you're bleeding to death file! I have heard these B.S. stories as well from people who live near but have never stepped foot on the trail or NYC. They are propagated by fear mongering preppers types who take a gun to the bathroom just incase. I have spent many days in the woods I have never had a problem. Aside from being harassed by game wardens while small game hunting (BTW) I was armed at the time ;-) . Deliverance is a movie not a likely reality. Just like where you live use good judgment don't let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security and in my opinion leave the gun in the bathroom where it belongs. Save the extra weight for candy to offer muggers and or bears I hear the really like candy!

Son Driven
02-16-2013, 09:15
I might not be carrying a gun, but I would like for the evil doers to think I might be.

JAK
02-16-2013, 09:57
There was a strange sequence of incidents in Fundy National Park a few years ago. Someone had choked on homemade trail mix, another on Cheerios, and then a third one month later on Captain Crunch. The thought it might be the work of a cereal killer.

Del Q
02-16-2013, 13:50
When people ask me about this I tell them that by far, personal injury is the #1 risk, add hypotermia and the overall mental aspects of long distance hiking. Gun, no.........too heavy and not the right thing to bring in my mind.

A thru hiker once told me that all you reall need is a single edge razor blade, over time and experience this is good advice.

Sarcasm the elf
02-16-2013, 14:03
There was a strange sequence of incidents in Fundy National Park a few years ago. Someone had choked on homemade trail mix, another on Cheerios, and then a third one month later on Captain Crunch. The thought it might be the work of a cereal killer.

Well done JAK, well done!

Son Driven
02-16-2013, 21:35
The last breath comes to all of us. Over the past 14 months I have come to terms with my own mortality as I moved from one of the safest zip codes to the most dangerous zip code in the Minneapolis area.

Hairbear
02-17-2013, 06:04
statisticly you are more likely to be killed by your spouse in your sleep. The evil you fear lurks in the hearts of humanity ,not in the cold steel of guns. Hollywood has done a great job in getting us to fear that which we do not understand.

TheDuckOnTheJunebug
02-17-2013, 14:50
I am not sure it's fair to call violent crime random. Crimes are the result of human behavior, and are influenced by all the attendant factors you might expect.

Here in central Virginia, I am cautious on the trail, in part because it does so strongly parallel roads. Also, because of recent crimes. The Blue Ridge Parkway killer was quickly caught. There was the murder down at Cole Mtn, which hasn't been solved, and a couple of kids got shot in the woods near Blacksburg a couple of years back. And no one ever did solve that double killing in SNP way back. Now, those weren't all on the trail, but they were all in heavily traveled areas of our public woods.

Of the crimes I mentioned, the one near Cole Mtn. concerns us most, because it was near the AT and on a trail, not a road. It's worth noting that the cops have said that there's no evidence the murderer is targeting hikers. That's not the same as having evidence he isn't. In that case, as I recall, police said the victim was throttled. If that's the m.o., I don't want a gun, I want a knife I can reach and jab the attacker somewhere tender.

I've been menaced once, (near, but not on the trail, and along a dirt road) but it was, I think, just rednecks having some fun, as opposed to something serious.

rainmaker
02-17-2013, 23:07
Amen . The murders and fatal animal attacks on the AT is dwarfed by the lightning strikes, the hypothermia, the illnesses, the frostbite, heat exhaustion , the hunger ect stuff the gun can't fix.

Don't forget those D*** wet bog bridges in Maine.

HikerMom58
02-18-2013, 11:54
I am not sure it's fair to call violent crime random. Crimes are the result of human behavior, and are influenced by all the attendant factors you might expect.

Here in central Virginia, I am cautious on the trail, in part because it does so strongly parallel roads. Also, because of recent crimes. The Blue Ridge Parkway killer was quickly caught. There was the murder down at Cole Mtn, which hasn't been solved, and a couple of kids got shot in the woods near Blacksburg a couple of years back. And no one ever did solve that double killing in SNP way back. Now, those weren't all on the trail, but they were all in heavily traveled areas of our public woods.

Of the crimes I mentioned, the one near Cole Mtn. concerns us most, because it was near the AT and on a trail, not a road. It's worth noting that the cops have said that there's no evidence the murderer is targeting hikers. That's not the same as having evidence he isn't. In that case, as I recall, police said the victim was throttled. If that's the m.o., I don't want a gun, I want a knife I can reach and jab the attacker somewhere tender.

I've been menaced once, (near, but not on the trail, and along a dirt road) but it was, I think, just rednecks having some fun, as opposed to something serious.

Central VA has a terrible reputation for a concentrated number of crimes committed here. In 2008, when my daughter was hiking the trail, (she was way north of Daleville) a female thru-hiker was offered a ride to the PO in Daleville but instead of being taken to the PO, she was taken to an abandon warehouse and was sexually assaulted. She was released, thankfully, but badly shaken, of course. That just makes me sooo mad!!

Because of that incident,it gives me extra pleasure when I spot a hiker in Daleville and offer them to help them out, any way I can. I also pass along to hikers any information I have about people on the trail or in the area. No "surprises" is a good thing. ;) I've learned not to share that kind of info. on here.

I will not go on the trail by myself, in my area, to check on shelters, do trail magic or anything else. We haven't been on the trail with any kind of protection, on us, to date, but I'm thinking that might start to change this year. No gun ever- but some kind of protection -YES.

I like what Hairbear said- "The evil you fear lurks in the hearts of humanity". That is soo true. But yet, I love my fellow humans and want to believe in them, not fear them. I have to keep it real, tho.

SassyWindsor
02-18-2013, 20:23
If one googles hiker robbed (with no quotes) you'll get many hits, a lot of them or AT related.

Del Q
02-18-2013, 20:44
This thread is just sad!

For a place (trail) that we would hope is 100% safe, its just not.

Maybe the incidents are simply more cases of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.......male or female.

I refuse to run scared, be it on the streets of Philadelphia, at home, or on the AT.

There are obvious precautions like trusting your gut feel, don't camp near roads, etc.

KingGator and Sons
02-19-2013, 00:53
This saddens me as I prepare for my first ever thru hike. In fact, this is my first ever post. I will be taking my two sons (13,11). Let's just say that I will make sure I am ready to die OR kill if need be now.

not_possible
02-19-2013, 02:14
I don't see the big deal about the controversial debate over these worries, whether it's daily life or a thru hike on the AT. Anything can happen anywhere, but a little common sense and awareness goes a long way. I carry concealed pretty much daily and would on my thru if the logistcs were on my side, but I'm not and it doesn't bother me(bothers me more that I'm going for months without any training or shooting)...will take a little getting used to and I'm sure I'll have that nekkid feeling for a few days. I've been told I have trust issues, but I don't assume the best about anyone right off, nor the worst and I'm still polite...just don't get complacent. I worked with a girl that was mugged in broad daylight on her lunch break...she was walking to her car texting, no awareness to her surroundings making her an easy target. A few years ago I was dating a girl that was driving home and a person in the car on her right shot into her car. Bullet went through the rear door, fragmented, and left a mark where the biggest chunk bounced off the back of the front passenger seat headrest. They had passed her then slowed to stay just ahead for a ways before slowing almost to a complete stop at a green stop light so she had a partial plate and description of the car. She sped up to go through the light and they shot while turning right at the light. Her awareness didn't help catch them, but that would be a waay off topic rant(city and county argued over jurisdiction and no one showed til the next morning). Her noticing something odd and speeding up may have prevented the bullet going through the front glass though.

not_possible
02-19-2013, 02:20
Why do my paragraphs turn into 1 blob after posting on this forum? It's a bit annoying and I'm sure it is to read as well. Maybe the browser on my phone.

rickb
02-19-2013, 08:12
I don't see the big deal about the controversial debate over these worries, whether it's daily life or a thru hike on the AT. Anything can happen anywhere, but a little common sense and awareness goes a long way.

I think you make a great deal of sense.

Awarness does not need to equal fear, and discusion of facts need not equal controversy. A wise motorcyclist accepts that their are some special risks associated with his passion (far greater than those facing a backpacker, of course) then mitigates them to the degree that is reasonably possible-- with a helmet, or defensive riding skills or whatevever. Simple. We should do the same rather than denying the small but very real risks thru hikers face.

There are certain commonalities among the (few) serious crimes perpetraed against thru hikers on the AT. A better use of bandwidth would be to consider them. That woudl be a sophisticated discussion that has never taken place on Whiteblaze. Too emotional.

At a minimum, I would suggest that the AT feels very safe to thruhikers after a short period of time. It becomes our home and we are comfortable there. Perhaps so comfortable we deal with odd-balls at shelters differently than we woudl otherwise. Some of us are also so tollerant of people that are different when traveling we see nothing but good. Its not all good. Some of us are so self reliant and strong (of mind or body) we think we can handle everyone we meet. We can't.

There is a book that is sold by the ATC by Michale Bane called Trail Safe that is worth reading IMHO. Not because it has all the answers, but because it really can get you thinking about the right questions in grey situation, and might actually help lead you do better decision on the Trail. I mean that very sincerely.

Backpacker thought the book had value too-- so much so that they put the entire copy on line. Here it is:

http://www.gorp.com/hiking-guide/travel-ta-hiking-outdoor-skills-camping-sidwcmdev_056742.html

Terry7
02-19-2013, 08:35
6 years and 5000 miles A.T. miles. I have never had any trouble with crime.

Crazy Larry #1
02-19-2013, 09:35
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.For the three years that I bounced around the trail I only had one incident that scared the Jesus into me and that is when I met Ward "Chip" Leonard right north of Unaka Mountain. And then we ended up being friends for the moment.

There are bad apples where ever you go, you are not escaping anything by taking a walk in the woods if it is suppose to happen to ya. Some don't agree with me on this philosophy but.....

canoe
02-19-2013, 09:59
For the three years that I bounced around the trail I only had one incident that scared the Jesus into me and that is when I met Ward "Chip" Leonard right north of Unaka Mountain. And then we ended up being friends for the moment.

There are bad apples where ever you go, you are not escaping anything by taking a walk in the woods if it is suppose to happen to ya. Some don't agree with me on this philosophy but.....
Why did that encounter scare you?

terryg49
02-19-2013, 10:00
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.

I carried a firearm when I first started the AT. I soon learned that you are safer on the trail then just about anywhere. There are no dangerous animals that you need to worry about. That includes bears that everyone seems to feel are going to eat them. If you keep you food hung properly you will have no issues. Plus, why carry the extra weight. Have a great hike.

MDSection12
02-19-2013, 10:05
You have a point.

i think common wisdom is that about 20% of those attempting a thru hike complete their journeys and register with the ATC as milers.

If you buy that, then about 1 in 11,000 of all those who attempt a thru hike are murdered by a complete stranger within 6 months of the time they set off on their hikes.

Not sure where you live, but if 1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months, I would not be proud of that. Over the course of 20 years that would be 40 victims out of 11,000 or one in 275 people. Yikes!

OK, I wanted to stay out of this, but statistics are kind of a pet peeve for me... Correct me if I'm wrong, but the five murders have been over the entire history of Appalachian Trail hiking, right? Same goes for the 11,000 completed thrus, those were over the course of the entire history of AT hiking, right? So where is this '1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months' coming from? In actuality a more appropriate comparison (assuming your math pans out to begin with, which is debatable anyway) would be a town of 55,000 with 5 recorded murders in the past 60 years. I
live in a town of around 60,000 people and we tend to have a murder about every other year, sometimes every year... So technically the hypothetical town you try to paint as so unsafe is much safer than my own hometown... And in fact is safer than most towns.

So now lets consider that your estimate assumed 1 in 5 thru-hiker attempts ends with not only a successful finish but also a report to the ATC. Then add to that the fact that the vast majority of AT users are not attempting thru-hikes. Now I don't have any hard data in front of me to start making bold statements, but in my mind that town of 55,000 is getting much, much larger. Find me a town in the US with a population over 55,000 with fewer than 5 murders in the past sixty years... :rolleyes:

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 10:09
I think you make a great deal of sense.

Awarness does not need to equal fear, and discusion of facts need not equal controversy. A wise motorcyclist accepts that their are some special risks associated with his passion (far greater than those facing a backpacker, of course) then mitigates them to the degree that is reasonably possible-- with a helmet, or defensive riding skills or whatevever. Simple. We should do the same rather than denying the small but very real risks thru hikers face.

There are certain commonalities among the (few) serious crimes perpetraed against thru hikers on the AT. A better use of bandwidth would be to consider them. That woudl be a sophisticated discussion that has never taken place on Whiteblaze. Too emotional.

At a minimum, I would suggest that the AT feels very safe to thruhikers after a short period of time. It becomes our home and we are comfortable there. Perhaps so comfortable we deal with odd-balls at shelters differently than we woudl otherwise. Some of us are also so tollerant of people that are different when traveling we see nothing but good. Its not all good. Some of us are so self reliant and strong (of mind or body) we think we can handle everyone we meet. We can't.

There is a book that is sold by the ATC by Michale Bane called Trail Safe that is worth reading IMHO. Not because it has all the answers, but because it really can get you thinking about the right questions in grey situation, and might actually help lead you do better decision on the Trail. I mean that very sincerely.

Backpacker thought the book had value too-- so much so that they put the entire copy on line. Here it is:

http://www.gorp.com/hiking-guide/travel-ta-hiking-outdoor-skills-camping-sidwcmdev_056742.html

rickb...my hat is off to you!! This is one of the best posts on this thread or on this subject. THANKS! You nailed it! Thanks for the helpful link.. I can't wait to read it.

canoe
02-19-2013, 10:27
OK, I wanted to stay out of this, but statistics are kind of a pet peeve for me... Correct me if I'm wrong, but the five murders have been over the entire history of Appalachian Trail hiking, right? Same goes for the 11,000 completed thrus, those were over the course of the entire history of AT hiking, right? So where is this '1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months' coming from? In actuality a more appropriate comparison (assuming your math pans out to begin with, which is debatable anyway) would be a town of 55,000 with 5 recorded murders in the past 60 years. I
live in a town of around 60,000 people and we tend to have a murder about every other year, sometimes every year... So technically the hypothetical town you try to paint as so unsafe is much safer than my own hometown... And in fact is safer than most towns.

So now lets consider that your estimate assumed 1 in 5 thru-hiker attempts ends with not only a successful finish but also a report to the ATC. Then add to that the fact that the vast majority of AT users are not attempting thru-hikes. Now I don't have any hard data in front of me to start making bold statements, but in my mind that town of 55,000 is getting much, much larger. Find me a town in the US with a population over 55,000 with fewer than 5 murders in the past sixty years... :rolleyes:

Thats exactly what I was thinking

WingedMonkey
02-19-2013, 10:33
OK, I wanted to stay out of this, but statistics are kind of a pet peeve for me... Correct me if I'm wrong, but the five murders have been over the entire history of Appalachian Trail hiking, right? Same goes for the 11,000 completed thrus, those were over the course of the entire history of AT hiking, right? So where is this '1 in 11,000 vibrant and law abiding people living in my town were getting killed every 6 months' coming from? In actuality a more appropriate comparison (assuming your math pans out to begin with, which is debatable anyway) would be a town of 55,000 with 5 recorded murders in the past 60 years. I
live in a town of around 60,000 people and we tend to have a murder about every other year, sometimes every year... So technically the hypothetical town you try to paint as so unsafe is much safer than my own hometown... And in fact is safer than most towns.

So now lets consider that your estimate assumed 1 in 5 thru-hiker attempts ends with not only a successful finish but also a report to the ATC. Then add to that the fact that the vast majority of AT users are not attempting thru-hikes. Now I don't have any hard data in front of me to start making bold statements, but in my mind that town of 55,000 is getting much, much larger. Find me a town in the US with a population over 55,000 with fewer than 5 murders in the past sixty years... :rolleyes:

So much better than "fuzzy math".
:sun

MDSection12
02-19-2013, 10:54
Don't get me wrong; it's still VERY fuzzy math at best... I'm just trying to take the analogy that was used and make it a bit more appropriate. Truth be told I'm still not happy with the results. There just is not enough data to really make any concrete statements.

Karma13
02-19-2013, 11:06
Don't get me wrong; it's still VERY fuzzy math at best... I'm just trying to take the analogy that was used and make it a bit more appropriate. Truth be told I'm still not happy with the results. There just is not enough data to really make any concrete statements.

I can make a concrete statement. According to CityData, in the town I live in (population about 40,000), in 2011 (they haven't updated the 2012 data yet) there were 4 murders, 12 rapes, 198 robberies, 153 assaults, 241 burglaries, 641 thefts, and 5 arsons.

My concrete statement is that I'm highly confident that Ii'm safer on the AT than walking down my street.

gizzy bear
02-19-2013, 11:49
well first of all...i did some research on AT deaths, nothing scientific...but drowning seems to be one of the problems... so maybe a UL life preserver may be helpful...and i was wondering if the cause of death was released, re: the hiker found dead in the smokies about a month ago? i hadn't heard much more about that :(

Crazy Larry #1
02-19-2013, 11:52
Why did that encounter scare you?
Ward is a paranoid schizophrenic that was active on the trail around the time I was out there. He most assuredly has the most thru hikes ever, in fact when I met him he was on his third thru in less than 7 months. Ward would hike to one end of the trail and turn around and go the other way, he did this for years. Ward was a confrontational character and so was I when he put his face up to mine without going into detail. After that night I consider him my friend. He was notorious for scaring the crap out of people, me included....

canoe
02-19-2013, 11:54
Ward is a paranoid schizophrenic that was active on the trail around the time I was out there. He most assuredly has the most thru hikes ever, in fact when I met him he was on his third thru in less than 7 months. Ward would hike to one end of the trail and turn around and go the other way, he did this for years. Ward was a confrontational character and so was I when he put his face up to mine without going into detail. After that night I consider him my friend. He was notorious for scaring the crap out of people, me included....
That is scary. More scary than any bear or some bird in the night.

shuffle
02-19-2013, 12:40
I hiked the trail in 2004 and as a woman hiking with a 6 foot man, I ended up with a stalker. I figure it was my fault though because I am the type who is nice to all even when they don't look like they come from the best of situations. I was nice to a guy in a town by talking to him and he ended up following me along the trail and always wanted to take me into town etc. He showed up drunk one time and wanted me to get in his car. Of course I didn't and thanks to the guys at the hostel in TN they chased him off. He reappeared in Damascus again but I managed to stay with someone all the time so he could not try to get me to go with him. I learned unfortunately that you can't always smile and talk to someone because you don't know what they really want. My hiking partner became my protector until the guy finally gave up. I always had to look behind when hiking and up ahead for the longest time. By the time I got to PA I felt safe again. It was quite an experience. I don't think a gun would have helped if my 6 foot tall partner didn't scare him away.

rickb
02-19-2013, 13:26
My analysis is correct. The average population of folks aattempting a thru hike in any given year is far less than 55,000. And they are only out in the woods 6 months.

In your town the 55,000 people face risk each and every year.


Its simple, about 55,000 people spent up to 6 months of their lives trying to ccomplete they hike. Five of them were killed along the way.

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 13:27
I hiked the trail in 2004 and as a woman hiking with a 6 foot man, I ended up with a stalker. I figure it was my fault though because I am the type who is nice to all even when they don't look like they come from the best of situations. I was nice to a guy in a town by talking to him and he ended up following me along the trail and always wanted to take me into town etc. He showed up drunk one time and wanted me to get in his car. Of course I didn't and thanks to the guys at the hostel in TN they chased him off. He reappeared in Damascus again but I managed to stay with someone all the time so he could not try to get me to go with him. I learned unfortunately that you can't always smile and talk to someone because you don't know what they really want. My hiking partner became my protector until the guy finally gave up. I always had to look behind when hiking and up ahead for the longest time. By the time I got to PA I felt safe again. It was quite an experience. I don't think a gun would have helped if my 6 foot tall partner didn't scare him away.

I can relate to you, shuffle. Sometimes, I tend to swing wildly between always smiling & giving out TMI, to everyone I meet, to not wanting to interact much, b/c of feeling a lil vunerable. How I behave has more to do with me, than the person, themselves, upon first meeting/talking to someone. I need to learn how to strike a balance. I need to learn how to interact with everyone, more wisely, all the time.

In 2010, just out for a day hike, meeting up with the hikers I was slackpacking, was when I would meet an obviously struggling individual. We showed him some kindness and it all ended well. Whew! Good to know that your encounter ended well 2. Great that you had others around you for protection. We def. felt safer with our "numbers" as well. Including him, there were 5 of us all together. :)

shuffle
02-19-2013, 13:34
Yeah I am the type that will speak to the homeless man on the street and the person who doesn't look like they have seen a shower in a while because I want them to feel they do matter. In my career, I deal with troubled teens who have been through so much and I treat them with respect as I believe all people should be treated. It gets me in trouble many times but I really don't want to change "me" because how I act toward others makes up a big part of me. I don't want to be that person who treats others less fortunate than them like crap. Just have to make sure I have the numbers as you said.

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 13:44
Yeah I am the type that will speak to the homeless man on the street and the person who doesn't look like they have seen a shower in a while because I want them to feel they do matter. In my career, I deal with troubled teens who have been through so much and I treat them with respect as I believe all people should be treated. It gets me in trouble many times but I really don't want to change "me" because how I act toward others makes up a big part of me. I don't want to be that person who treats others less fortunate than them like crap. Just have to make sure I have the numbers as you said.

You sound like an awesome person!! I like your philosophy toward the ones less fortunate. Don't ever change who you are... just be smart. :) Bless you in your work with the teens. :D

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 14:00
5 murders vs how many safe thrus over 80+years?
odds of getting bitten by a shark while being hit by lightning are much higher.
do you think we can keep this in proper perspective?

in 3 separate instances last year, 3 people were killed at home watching tv when out of control cars came through their living room windows.
buy a lottery ticket.

Not that I feel unsafe on the trail, but I think it would be important to establish a baseline. How many man-hours last year did Americans spend
thru-hiking the AT, and how many man-hours are spent watching TV? The average American spends 34 hours per week watching TV, which means
there were 530 billion hours spent in front of TVs in America. Only 2000 or so attempt a thru hike, and most of those don't finish. Being generous
we could say 1000 people spend 6 months on the trail thru-hiking. Counting all 24 hours per day, that around 4.4 million man hours on the trail
thru-hiking per year. Even if the AT was as crowded over the whole 80 years as it is today, that would tally up to 349 million man hours spent thru-hiking.
A very generous assumption. Scaling things up to the watching TV so that we compare apples to apples, if people spent as much time on the AT as they
did watching TV, our 5 murders in 80 years becomes 7600 murders per year as compared to 3 people killed by cars driving into their living rooms. In doing
this rough estimate, I've been very generous in assuming the number of hours on the trail. A more detailed estimation would probably at least double the
expected number of murders.

I'm more putting this out there because I'm a bit of a nerd as well as a hiker. So anyone reading this, please don't lecture me on being afraid to hike because
I'm not.

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 14:02
Not that I feel unsafe on the trail, but I think it would be important to establish a baseline. How many man-hours last year did Americans spend
thru-hiking the AT, and how many man-hours are spent watching TV? The average American spends 34 hours per week watching TV, which means
there were 530 billion hours spent in front of TVs in America. Only 2000 or so attempt a thru hike, and most of those don't finish. Being generous
we could say 1000 people spend 6 months on the trail thru-hiking. Counting all 24 hours per day, that around 4.4 million man hours on the trail
thru-hiking per year. Even if the AT was as crowded over the whole 80 years as it is today, that would tally up to 349 million man hours spent thru-hiking.
A very generous assumption. Scaling things up to the watching TV so that we compare apples to apples, if people spent as much time on the AT as they
did watching TV, our 5 murders in 80 years becomes 7600 murders per year as compared to 3 people killed by cars driving into their living rooms. In doing
this rough estimate, I've been very generous in assuming the number of hours on the trail. A more detailed estimation would probably at least double the
expected number of murders.

I'm more putting this out there because I'm a bit of a nerd as well as a hiker. So anyone reading this, please don't lecture me on being afraid to hike because
I'm not.

That should have been 7600 murders in 80 years.

weary
02-19-2013, 14:25
Flypaper:

You need to add to your analysis the number of tv watchers who die early because of the lack of exercise.

hikerboy57
02-19-2013, 14:51
That should have been 7600 murders in 80 years.
again, thru hikers are just a tiny fraction of total users of the at.

then add in all the people who were murdered in their homes.
if you compared those two numbers you would rightfully conclude home is no place to live safely.

Chaco Taco
02-19-2013, 15:23
yep, trail is way too dangerous. Just stay home because it is soooo much safer. Some of you never cease to amaze me with your negativity, especially about hiking and people in general.:rolleyes:

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 15:31
Instead of crunching numbers, everyone should just get out and hike. Whatever is going to happen, will happen or NOT.

You will encounter people on the trail. Be prepared for anything, surprised at nothing and be prepared to deal with everything....whatever that looks like for you- just do it.

bfayer
02-19-2013, 15:36
Instead of crunching numbers, everyone should just get out and hike. Whatever is going to happen, will happen or NOT...

Amen HikerMom!

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 15:48
again, thru hikers are just a tiny fraction of total users of the at.


To do a correct analysis that includes non thru-hikers, we'd need to know how many day hikers and section hikers are murdered on the trail.
Since I was only given the number of thru-hikers, that's the population I measured against. Also, from my experience, based on the
number of thru-hikers I meet, the total number of hours spent on the trail by thru-hikers, versus non-thru hikers is more than a tiny fraction,
although certainly less than half.



then add in all the people who were murdered in their homes.
if you compared those two numbers you would rightfully conclude home is no place to live safely.

If we compared the number of people murdered in their homes, we'd have to add in all hours spent at home, not just time
watching TV. After all, it is not a matter of the total number of murders, it is a matter of the total number of murders
compared to the total amount of man hours spent. Also, a number of home murders are at the hands of estranged/angry lovers,
or the result of drug deals gone bad which are a different sort of animal in that we all know pretty well whether our odds
are elevated when compared to the general population. After all, an estranged lover would just wait until we return
from the AT to kill us, and the relative safety of the locations is irrelevant.

For most of us, the most interesting comparison would be the likelihood of being murdered by a stranger in our homes based on
our current lifestyle (not counting the lifestyles of drug dealers and other criminals of which most of us are not) versus the likelihood
of being murdered on the AT. I'd be willing to bet that most of our living rooms are much safer than the AT. But if someone has
a valid statistical analysis, I'm open minded.

But aside from all this, we can do a crude analysis based on raw numbers. There were 13,756 murders per year in the US in 2008.
And 304 million people. That means that there were 1.145 murders per million man-hours of life. If we take the 5 murders of thru-hikers over 80
years. Thru-hiking was not real popular before around 30 years ago. If we say that over the last 30 years there have been an average of 500
thru-hikers spending 6 full months on the trail (and this may be generous). Prior to 30 years ago, the hours would be negligible and can
probably be ignored based on overestimating in the last 30 years. This leads to 1.984 murders per million man hours of thru-hiking on the AT.
(If there have been 0 section hikers murdered in spite of there being lot more total man hours on the trail than thru-hikers, well that
would be remarkable and a totally different discussion. But I suspect some non-thru-hikers have been murdered too).

So this leads me to think that hiking is a tad less safe (as far as murders go) than ordinary living. And for those of us who aren't in street gangs,
nor are prostitutes, nor are married to a hot-head spouse, that would mean our ordinary life is safer than the average since we are not in a high
risk group.

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 15:56
Instead of crunching numbers, everyone should just get out and hike. Whatever is going to happen, will happen or NOT.

You will encounter people on the trail. Be prepared for anything, surprised at nothing and be prepared to deal with everything....whatever that looks like for you- just do it.

I hike, I play chess, I crunch numbers. I don't see this as an either/or problem.

Lone Wolf
02-19-2013, 16:02
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.
are you male or female? your chances of getting mugged, raped, assaulted etc. go way up if you're a female. plan accordingly

fins1838
02-19-2013, 16:07
If I had a concealed permit, I'd carry one (shave some weight off it 1st :)). Couldn't hurt (cause I know how to handle 1 & respect it). Just don't get caught in MD without a carry permit. Martin O'Malley will have you thrown in prison for 10-15 & seize anything you have of value.

rickb
02-19-2013, 16:15
(If there have been 0 section hikers murdered in spite of there being lot more total man hours on the trail than thru-hikers, well that would be remarkable and a totally different discussion.


0ne long distance section hiker has been murdered on the AT. That was the most recent killing-- less than 2 years ago. He was not included in the total of 5.

Slo-go'en
02-19-2013, 16:23
Murders on the AT by state, year and number of victums:

GA - 1974 - 1
TN - 1975 - 1
VA - 1981 - 2 (double murder)
PA - 1988 - 1 (one wounded, double murder attemt. Two woman having sex in shelter and thats a reason to shoot them?)
PA - 1990 -2 (another double murder)
VA - 1996 -2 (SNP, double murder again!)
VA - 2012 -1 (SNP again, section hiker)

So, it looks like you should stay away from VA (SNP in perticular) and PA and only hike in odd numbered years, since only two murders have happend on an odd number year and both of those were a long time ago. Therefor 2013 should be safe. Also, since most of these were double murders, hike alone.

shuffle
02-19-2013, 17:19
Totally agree! If we all stay inside to keep ourselves "safe" no one would enjoy the wonderful outdoors. Look for the good in people but be cautious.

rickb
02-19-2013, 17:29
To do a correct analysis that includes non thru-hikers, we'd need to know how many day hikers and section hikers are murdered on the trail.
Since I was only given the number of thru-hikers, that's the population I measured against. Also, from my experience, based on the
number of thru-hikers I meet, the total number of hours spent on the trail by thru-hikers, versus non-thru hikers is more than a tiny fraction,
although certainly less than half.



If we compared the number of people murdered in their homes, we'd have to add in all hours spent at home, not just time
watching TV. After all, it is not a matter of the total number of murders, it is a matter of the total number of murders
compared to the total amount of man hours spent. Also, a number of home murders are at the hands of estranged/angry lovers,
or the result of drug deals gone bad which are a different sort of animal in that we all know pretty well whether our odds
are elevated when compared to the general population. After all, an estranged lover would just wait until we return
from the AT to kill us, and the relative safety of the locations is irrelevant.

For most of us, the most interesting comparison would be the likelihood of being murdered by a stranger in our homes based on
our current lifestyle (not counting the lifestyles of drug dealers and other criminals of which most of us are not) versus the likelihood
of being murdered on the AT. I'd be willing to bet that most of our living rooms are much safer than the AT. But if someone has
a valid statistical analysis, I'm open minded.

But aside from all this, we can do a crude analysis based on raw numbers. There were 13,756 murders per year in the US in 2008.
And 304 million people. That means that there were 1.145 murders per million man-hours of life. If we take the 5 murders of thru-hikers over 80
years. Thru-hiking was not real popular before around 30 years ago. If we say that over the last 30 years there have been an average of 500
thru-hikers spending 6 full months on the trail (and this may be generous). Prior to 30 years ago, the hours would be negligible and can
probably be ignored based on overestimating in the last 30 years. This leads to 1.984 murders per million man hours of thru-hiking on the AT.
(If there have been 0 section hikers murdered in spite of there being lot more total man hours on the trail than thru-hikers, well that
would be remarkable and a totally different discussion. But I suspect some non-thru-hikers have been murdered too).

So this leads me to think that hiking is a tad less safe (as far as murders go) than ordinary living. And for those of us who aren't in street gangs,
nor are prostitutes, nor are married to a hot-head spouse, that would mean our ordinary life is safer than the average since we are not in a high
risk group.

Logic is good but your math is way off.

TheDuckOnTheJunebug
02-19-2013, 17:51
Murders on the AT by state, year and number of victums:

GA - 1974 - 1
TN - 1975 - 1
VA - 1981 - 2 (double murder)
PA - 1988 - 1 (one wounded, double murder attemt. Two woman having sex in shelter and thats a reason to shoot them?)
PA - 1990 -2 (another double murder)
VA - 1996 -2 (SNP, double murder again!)
VA - 2012 -1 (SNP again, section hiker)

So, it looks like you should stay away from VA (SNP in perticular) and PA and only hike in odd numbered years, since only two murders have happend on an odd number year and both of those were a long time ago. Therefor 2013 should be safe. Also, since most of these were double murders, hike alone.

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same one or not, but the last VA trail murder I remember is from 2011 and NOT in SNP:
http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/appalachian-trail-hiker-s-death-ruled-homicide/article_d1245d42-b927-550b-a6f5-dea7098a7802.html

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 18:18
Logic is good but your math is way off.

You're right. I hesitate to assert anything based on more calculations after erring so badly,
but it appears I've overstated the danger of both being on the trail and being off the trail.
It appears the relative danger even more skewed toward the trail than regular life than
I claimed.

I know some don't like to hear this.

hikerboy57
02-19-2013, 18:33
okay anyway id rather die hiking

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 19:25
I hike, I play chess, I crunch numbers. I don't see this as an either/or problem.

Hey FlyPaper... I don't have a problem with you crunching numbers, playing chess or hiking.

As for myself, I'm not going to worry about the number crunching. It means absolutely nothing to me because no matter what it "proves", it will have no effect on me, whatsoever. I'm not going to do anything differently.

Maybe others might feel differently.

FlyPaper
02-19-2013, 19:36
Hey FlyPaper... I don't have a problem with you crunching numbers, playing chess or hiking.

As for myself, I'm not going to worry about the number crunching. It means absolutely nothing to me because no matter what it "proves", it will have no effect on me, whatsoever. I'm not going to do anything differently.

Maybe others might feel differently.

Good for you. And no matter what the number crunching shows, I'll be out on the trail as soon as I can.

BTW: I Scuba dive too. I'm under the impression that's a LOT more dangerous than hiking.

HikerMom58
02-19-2013, 19:54
Good for you. And no matter what the number crunching shows, I'll be out on the trail as soon as I can.

BTW: I Scuba dive too. I'm under the impression that's a LOT more dangerous than hiking.

Well then- we agree! Nice! :) BTW... I tried Scuba diving but I couldn't do it. My brain kept sending me the message that I wasn't supposed to be sitting on the bottom of a pool for 15 minutes or more without coming up for air.... LOL! I never could get my breathing straightened out. :( I'm jealous of you being able to do it.. I feel like I missed out on a LOT of fun! :)

max patch
02-19-2013, 20:19
Murders on the AT by state, year and number of victums:

GA - 1974 - 1
TN - 1975 - 1
VA - 1981 - 2 (double murder)
PA - 1988 - 1 (one wounded, double murder attemt. Two woman having sex in shelter and thats a reason to shoot them?)
PA - 1990 -2 (another double murder)
VA - 1996 -2 (SNP, double murder again!)
VA - 2012 -1 (SNP again, section hiker)

So, it looks like you should stay away from VA (SNP in perticular) and PA and only hike in odd numbered years, since only two murders have happend on an odd number year and both of those were a long time ago. Therefor 2013 should be safe. Also, since most of these were double murders, hike alone.,

As Slo points out, you can't extrapolate the existing data to draw any meaningful conclusions. If you could, then most obvious conclusion to be reached is that lesbians should not hike on the AT.

hikerboy57
02-19-2013, 20:38
the things i feared the most in my life never came to pass.
winston churchill


There are indeed (who might say Nay) gloomy & hypochondriac minds, inhabitants of diseased bodies, disgusted with the present, & despairing of the future; always counting that the worst will happen, because it may happen. To these I say How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!”
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, Apr. 8, 1816

canoe
02-19-2013, 20:52
I'm not sure if we're talking about the same one or not, but the last VA trail murder I remember is from 2011 and NOT in SNP:
http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/appalachian-trail-hiker-s-death-ruled-homicide/article_d1245d42-b927-550b-a6f5-dea7098a7802.html

I dont remember a 2012 SNP murder

jacob_springsteen
02-19-2013, 21:04
I find I am more the threat to others on the trail based upon sometimes their scrutiny or reserve they exhibit. I had one shelter guy follow me to the spring at a Virginia shelter one time to spy on me filling up my Camelbak. He was with a weekend group I think. This was Old Orchard shelter in VA. My take was he did not know where I came from ( duh, the AT runs right past the shelter) and needed to check up on me as I might of been up to something. So I think. No hello from him, just a stance to see what I was up to. Get the same deafening silence coming into shelters where day hikers and the like congregate. A long standing impression I get on the trail is that people are short of social skills or just do not really want to be social in this venue. To each their own, but I find others are squirrely on the trail often.

Slo-go'en
02-20-2013, 02:13
I'm not sure if we're talking about the same one or not, but the last VA trail murder I remember is from 2011 and NOT in SNP:
http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/appalachian-trail-hiker-s-death-ruled-homicide/article_d1245d42-b927-550b-a6f5-dea7098a7802.html

That's the one I was thinking of. Back in 2011 and near the SNP. Well, there goes my "odd number years are safer theory" out the window :0

JAK
02-20-2013, 06:34
Safest States and Provinces are Maine, New Hampshire, and Atlantic Canada. 1 per 100,000

JAK
02-20-2013, 06:43
Sorry, that was based on homicide rate, by humans. Still gotta watch out for Moose. :D

Interestingly Prince Edward Island has lowest homicide rate, and no Moose.

wicca witch
02-20-2013, 12:56
U do not need a piece on the AT. A blade,mace,taser is all a person really needs. U dcide which 1. Mice r a problem,alot more than bears,snakes.
Not 2 many thugs out on the AT,only mayb 1/3% or less. Have your son do more research on the subject,he'll c that u do not need a piece

kyhipo
02-20-2013, 13:03
I have Thru-Hiked three times and yes i was robbed in 2006, going through central VA just about a mile south of the Troutdale/ daleville Interchange, but the robber only got 20 dollars in cash and a little bit of change. and no i do not advise anybody to carry guns on any trail especially the AT, Robberies and other crimes really don't happen that frequent,For as Animals are concerned you only need to watch out for the shelter mice they can be visious and i meen down right Mean. The other Animals Bears, Deer, Raccoons, ETC they will pretty much stay out of your way.
well putt.ky,I ran into locals their myself.

Lone Wolf
02-20-2013, 13:03
U do not need a piece on the AT. A blade,mace,taser is all a person really needs. U dcide which 1. Mice r a problem,alot more than bears,snakes.
Not 2 many thugs out on the AT,only mayb 1/3% or less. Have your son do more research on the subject,he'll c that u do not need a piece

you don't NEED a cell phone, water filter, hiking sticks, etc. on the trail. they're WANTS. like a "piece"

88BlueGT
02-20-2013, 13:09
To each his own... but it's probably not necessary.

I would think you would encounter more 'fear' on the trail while YOU are carrying a piece. I can only speak for myself but if I'm hiking along and some guy is walking up on me with a handgun I can't say that I would be all that comfortable.... as it has been stated, some people are crazy. I think this definitely has something to do with my upbringing. I am from NJ and seeing people with firearms in public is NOT something that you see.

TSWisla
02-20-2013, 13:10
What are you supposed to do if you happen upon a moose or bear?

max patch
02-20-2013, 13:11
What are you supposed to do if you happen upon a moose or bear?

Grab your camera and thank your lucky stars.

bfayer
02-20-2013, 13:20
Grab your camera and thank your lucky stars.

You beat me to it :)

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/21/e3enusam.jpg


Edit: I have no idea why that is showing up twice.

Grampie
02-20-2013, 13:23
When I thru-hiked, one of my surprises was the amount od females hiking alone. Especialy the ones who had left a husband and family behind. I have become friends with a few and none of them ever admitted that they were ever afraid of attack while hiking the AT. They all felt safe hiking alone.

Labojo
02-22-2013, 13:21
19902
Solution to fear: Make this guy your hiking partner and you will have nothing to worry about.

Mountaintop
02-22-2013, 16:01
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.
I'm not trying to start a debate here, but have you ever considered a self defense or martial arts class. That might alleviate you or your son's fear a bit and it would definitely boost your confidence.

Mountaintop
02-22-2013, 16:02
I'm not trying to start a debate here, but have you ever considered a self defense or martial arts class. That might alleviate you or your son's fear a bit and it would definitely boost your confidence.
Sorry. I jumped the gun.

rickb
02-22-2013, 17:32
19902
Solution to fear: Make this guy your hiking partner and you will have nothing to worry about.

While there is no doubt some truth to what you say, it is worth noting that of the 5 THRUHIKERS murdered on the AT, 2 were men hiking with a female partner (also killed). Guns trump muscle.

WingedMonkey
02-22-2013, 19:44
While there is no doubt some truth to what you say, it is worth noting that of the 5 THRUHIKERS murdered on the AT, 2 were men hiking with a female partner (also killed). Guns trump muscle.

You have stats of how many that were armed and prevented their death?

rickb
02-22-2013, 20:00
You have stats of how many that were armed and prevented their death?

No. It was the bad guy that had the gun in all these cases.

Being big and strong might have helped the men who were shot stay alive but I tend to doubt it.

hikerboy57
02-22-2013, 20:10
yeah, but does anyone have real data on how many assaults/murders were prevented by a thru hiker carrying?

Lone Wolf
02-22-2013, 20:15
yeah, but does anyone have real data on how many assaults/murders were prevented by a thru hiker carrying?
i bet none cuz 99.9% of trail walkers are too scared to carry concealed. back in 86 me and a guy were camped on the tow path goin' north out of harpers ferry and some drugged/drunk guys came into our camp late and made threatening statements. my buddy produced a firearm, said a few words and they left immediately

rocketsocks
02-22-2013, 20:21
i bet none cuz 99.9% of trail walkers are too scared to carry concealed. back in 86 me and a guy were camped on the tow path goin' north out of harpers ferry and some drugged/drunk guys came into our camp late and made threatening statements. my buddy produced a firearm, said a few words and they left immediatelyI'd be defintely a scared to carry without a permit, that's a mandatory pinch, and you'll never own again legally, o'coarse you could be dead too, so it's not and easy decision to make....convicted by 12 or carried by 6

hikerboy57
02-22-2013, 20:28
i bet none cuz 99.9% of trail walkers are too scared to carry concealed. back in 86 me and a guy were camped on the tow path goin' north out of harpers ferry and some drugged/drunk guys came into our camp late and made threatening statements. my buddy produced a firearm, said a few words and they left immediately
yeah, that would do it.
so in all the miles youve hiked the at, have you yourself need it for protection, or did it just make you feel more secure that should something happen, youd be prepared for it?

Lone Wolf
02-22-2013, 20:32
yeah, that would do it.
so in all the miles youve hiked the at, have you yourself need it for protection, or did it just make you feel more secure that should something happen, youd be prepared for it?

i never carried on my long distance walks. there were 3 times i wish i had. if i carry now it's more for takin' out a bad guy tryin' to do harm to others

hikerboy57
02-22-2013, 20:39
i never carried on my long distance walks. there were 3 times i wish i had. if i carry now it's more for takin' out a bad guy tryin' to do harm to others
cool. i was just curious.

HikerMom58
02-22-2013, 20:46
i never carried on my long distance walks. there were 3 times i wish i had. if i carry now it's more for takin' out a bad guy tryin' to do harm to others

Watch out LW- Monkey will just call you a "defender". Your plan sounds good to me. I'm down with controlling the bad guy. I read someone's TJ in 2008. I could clearly see how just showing "the dudes" that was messing with him a gun would have worked like a charm. He was pretty shaken up after the encounter with the "locals". They were drunk. Interestingly enough, they were asking him where the female hikers were... they were mad that he was a male!! Lesson learned: Don't camp close to a ROAD!!

Wise Old Owl
02-22-2013, 20:49
Wow... nice post LW.

WingedMonkey
02-22-2013, 20:49
Watch out LW- Monkey will just call you a "defender". Your plan sounds good to me. I'm down with controlling the bad guy. I read someone's TJ in 2008. I could clearly see how just showing "the dudes" that was messing with him a gun would have worked like a charm. He was pretty shaken up after the encounter with the "locals". They were drunk. Interestingly enough, they were asking him where the female hikers were... they were mad that he was a male!! Lesson learned: Don't camp close to a ROAD!!

That's just stupid.
I only label you a a wannabe defender when you make someones post into them being a victim in need of you coming to their aid. As if they are ganged up on on a post.

It's never had anything to do with weapons or self defense.

HikerMom58
02-22-2013, 21:25
That's just stupid.
I only label you a a wannabe defender when you make someones post into them being a victim in need of you coming to their aid. As if they are ganged up on on a post.

It's never had anything to do with weapons or self defense.

I was just teasin you... :) I wasn't serious at all. Sorry I can't kid around with you. It's nice that you didn't call me stupid.

But since you brought it up- I don't make someone's post into them being a victim. I know what it feels like to be ganged up on ... thank you very much. If someone is being unfairly judged or ganged up on... Damn straight- I will defend them. Some people came to "my rescue" when that happened to me too. I used the wrong wording & I "paid the price", dearly. Some people saw that and defended me. I even had some people console me and it felt really good. There's no way I can thank them enough so I just pay it forward. It happens, WM. I was a newbie & didn't understand things.

rocketsocks
02-23-2013, 00:52
That's just stupid.
I only label you a a wannabe defender when you make someones post into them being a victim in need of you coming to their aid. As if they are ganged up on on a post.

It's never had anything to do with weapons or self defense.Monkey man, you gotta a chip lately bud.....your taking things to the personal level, which is fine...if your personable...see what I'm sayin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDSnjfxu_Ig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDSnjfxu_Ig

Furlough
02-23-2013, 10:31
and the anti-gunners appear, what they don't tell you is they believe there is no place a gun is needed, not just the AT. There are a lot more hikers carrying than one would think, bet


That is a very true statement, and the vast majority are doing it legally and safely.

And both statements are; as are all for and against guns statements, irrelevant to the OPs post.

speedbump
04-12-2013, 12:50
I hiked all of NH, and many other parts of New England. Mostly solo. Only once did I meet someone who scared me. Made the hair on my neck stand up. So listen to your instincts. Luckily, I was much faster than he was and lost him (that and a can of pepper spray loaded and ready to go).
I too am thinking about finishing the AT next year, mostly a thru. I am looking for others to start with, until we get our groove, or longer : ) When are you planning on going ?


Thanks to everyone for the input. Like I said I am not going to hike with a gun I just am trying to ease some of the worry that my son has for his "old man"

stranger
04-13-2013, 08:19
I have had a lifelong dream to thru-hike the AT. Maybe 2014, I am totally against bringing a gun during my hike. My 23 yr old son thinks I'm crazy not too. Many of his friends say they know people who have hiked the AT and muggings happen frequently. My question is to anyone who has section hiked or thru-hiked the AT. Have you ever been threatened or mudded on the AT? My son is also worried about animals, any problems with them? I told him that if I was even a little worried about meeting up with some violence I wouldn't attempt the hike. I feel there is more chance of him getting mugged in the city than me being mugged on the AT.

I've done 3 hikes over 500 miles on the AT, a few shorter hikes 30-80 miles on the AT, hiked the Long Trail and Northville-Lake Placid Trail. I've also hiked extensively in New Zealand and Australia. I have NEVER run into a situation hiking or in town where I felt unsafe other than one of my first hikes when someone got close to hypothermia. But as far as people or animals, nothing...even in Australia with all our creatures, not a single problem.

The biggest fear I have on the AT these days is Lyme Disease. That's about it.

SunnyWalker
04-13-2013, 09:49
I have hiked on the AT. I have hiked many, many miles in New Mexico, Texas, Sweden, England, Georgia (not AT), North Carolina, South Carolina, OK, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and etc. I am preparing to leave this April 27, 2013 to thru hike the CDT. Have I ever carried and/or will I carry a gun? No. No need. Statistically you are safer on the trail than most any given town even the one where you live. I do carry a small can of pepper spray and keep it handy when encountering humans. Most of the time this is when I come out to a trail head, hwy to hitch hike to town on, and in town. Have I ever used the pepper spray, no. This is for your information, perhaps it will help.

SunnyWalker
04-13-2013, 10:06
Rickb: Neat looking book. I am going to see if I can get in on my Kindle via Amazon.com

SunnyWalker
04-13-2013, 10:11
I think many who have fears of this type have seen to many movies, or something like that. I don't mean to insult people so sorry if it sounds that way. Some of it seems to be "can you top this . . . [story] . . . ".

SunnyWalker
04-13-2013, 10:26
The book RickB recommended is on Amazon.com. I just got in put on my Kindle and it looks real good. $9.99 for anyone concerned.

SouthMark
04-13-2013, 10:54
I have been section hiking on and off for 35 years. The only danger I have ever encountered was spending the night on the side of Sugarloaf Mtn in Maine in a horrific storm.